Between Heaven and Earth
by Rabbi Abie Ingber
Reflections on Friends in the Highest Places
A colleague, a co-author, and a trusted friend. These are just a few of the characteristics that define Rabbi Abraham Skorka’s relationship with Pope Francis. Through their travels together around the world, these men of faith prayed together and inspired one another to live a life of interfaith bridge building and celebration.
When visiting his friend in Rome, Rabbi Skorka is invited to stay with Francis in the Vatican guest house, a place for honored guests of the Church. During their meals, together the food is kosher, and, during moments, of prayer all are included.
The culminating work of Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka in Buenos Aires was their book, On Heaven and Earth, which tackled many different topics addressed by the Catholic Church and Jewish people. From same-sex marriage to the horrors of the Holocaust, both men expressed the beliefs of their people in this one-of-a-kind book from a perspective of love and understanding. Rabbi Skorka continues to serve as the Rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary.
Today, Rabbi Skorka remains a close confidant to Pope Francis, providing advice and experiences that remind them both of their dedication to celebrating one another in their spiritual journeys. Through his continued learning, Rabbi Skorka seeks to share his experiences with others who also wish to lead lives of interfaith.
As part of his efforts to continue interfaith dialogue around the world, Rabbi Skorka will be visiting the Cincinnati community for an evening of education and spiritual growth. Welcomed by Fr. Michael Graham, S.J., Office of the President and the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier University, Rabbi Skorka is also visiting a local friend as well.
Rabbi Abie Ingber, Executive Director at the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement, first met Rabbi Skorka on a trip to New York City. “Rabbi Skorka is coming to Cincinnati to share his reflections on Pope Francis and the larger issue of Catholic-Jewish relations,” said Ingber. “What an important time of year for this momentous visit, as we are tested to love one another in the face of adversity and persecution by our countries leaders.”
The program will be on Monday, November 7 in the Cintas Center Banquet Hall at 7 p.m. For more information on Rabbi Skorka’s visit to Cincinnati, visit http://www.xavier.edu/skorka